T.I. was sentenced last Friday by U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. in federal court in Atlanta to serve 11 more months in prison for violating the terms of his probation. The rapper and actor was arrested September 1 in L.A. after a traffic stop, during which police officers said they smelled a strong odor of marijuana in the car, found ecstasy pills in T.I.’s pockets and found cups of cough syrup mixed with soda water in the car.
The judge said that T.I. would again be on probation after being released from prison and could face up to three more years in prison if he committed another violation. The judge also told T.I. that his driver’s license would be suspended and he would not be allowed to drive on his next probation.
Some thought T.I. would receive a more lenient sentence after his good deed two days before his probation hearing when he helped convince a man poised to jump off a building not to commit suicide. Others believed that T.I.’s good deed was a publicity stunt. A police officer testified in his defense, saying that T.I.’s help was genuine and made an impact.
T.I.’s defense attorneys had asked the judge to sentence T.I. to house arrest and inpatient rehabilitation for his substance abuse problems. They said that T.I. had long had problems with addiction to drugs and recently became addicted to pain killers again after having seven root canals and three tooth extractions earlier this year.
T.I. also completed 1,000 hours of community service talking to kids about the dangers of drugs, violence and gang involvement. The federal prosecutor said that she believed T.I. had made a difference with the kids, but both she and the judge were not swayed by T.I.’s good deeds in the face of the arrest for drug possession.
T.I. to return to prison for 11 more months (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)